Just think- you can own a piece of magical history- something that was handled by the great Harry Houdini himself! This is a one-of-a-kind collectible, perfect for framing. What a great gift!
See a larger version of the image. Please note that the picture of the patent is for your information only- it is not included with the envelope. However, it can be found on the Internet- you can print it and frame it with the envelope!
In the late 1980's, magician Peter Monticup (owner of MagicTricks.com), purchased Harry Houdini's ornate desk. The desk had been in storage in Houdini's former NYC home from 1926 until it was sold in 1980. Peter purchased the desk from this buyer, along with a number of personal items from the Houdini home.
The desk had a number of secret compartments and hidden drawers. Inside one of the drawers was a stack of envelopes from correspondence Houdini had received. Houdini was a notorious "saver", so it is no surprise that he kept these envelopes. The letters were from all different sources- his lawyers, his fans, fellow magicians, etc. He even wrote notes on some of the envelopes, either noting the importance of the contents, or just scribbling on them as scrap paper. In researching the envelopes, we've found an important connection to an event or person in Houdini's life. Of all the thousands upon thousands of letters he received each year, he saved each of these envelopes for a reason.
This is one of the envelopes found in the desk. It is postmarked April 8, 1926 from Trinity Station, NY. The return address is from Alfred G. Mussawir, 436 45th Street, Brooklyn, NY.
Alfred G. Mussawir was a New York City pharmacist who was also an inventor. In 1932, Mussawir and his partner, George J. Saliba, were granted U.S. Patent #1,879,522 for a coin-operated sound recording machine. Saliba later became one of the founders of Presto Corp., the American company which developed the lacquer coated instantaneous recording disc in 1934, an invention which revolutionized the recording industry and a technology which is still used today in the making of the master discs for analog recordings.
Houdini was an inventor and patent holder also, having been granted a 1921 patent for a full body diving suit. Also in 1921, Houdini had formed Houdini Pictures Corp., to produce his own motion pictures. He and his brother, Theo Hardeen, had also formed a subsidary company called The Film Development Corporation, with the hopes of inventing and marketing a new process for developing raw film footage. Correspondence from a fellow inventor, especially one involved in the entertainment industry, would have been most interesting to Houdini.